The purpose of this blog is to tell stories.
My story-telling style—call it “annotated meandering”—inspired the blog’s name and is reflected in the look on Louis Sorin’s face as Groucho rambles on nonsensically. Unlike Groucho, however, I do get to the point.
Just bear with me.
I aim to answer interesting questions in an entertaining and data-driven way, often defining “data” a bit loosely. My posts are longer than usual (2018 mean=2,600 words), and I post weekly, on average.
Topics have included:
- American politics (1948/2000/2016/2018 elections, Congressional votes, polling, Democratic Party, John McCain and George H.W. Bush)
- Baseball/football (Philadelphia Phillies, Jamie Moyer, sabermetrics; Philadelphia Eagles)
- Cultural issues (guns, bipartisanship)
- Epidemiology, statistics and public health (data art, significance testing, walkability, counterfactuals)
- Film and television (Doctor Who, Charlie Chan, film noir, art vs. artist)
- Music (The Beatles, Miles Davis, Genesis, Stan Ridgway, Pete Shelley, The Smithereens, Steely Dan; punk and new wave)
- Social media (Twitter)
- Travel (Atlanta, Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco)
More and more, however, I tell stories from my own life. Many of these stories relate to my ongoing research into my genetic family and the circumstances surrounding my adoption. It is no coincidence that I am writing a book with the working title Interrogating Memory: Film Noir and My Search for Identity.
And who am I?
I am a data geek with a BA in political science (Yale), an AM in political science (Harvard), a MA in biostatistics and a PhD in epidemiology (both Boston University); you will find my doctoral thesis here, if you are interested. While at Harvard, I wrote four papers using baseball statistics that landed me my first job in a two-decade-long career as a health-related data analyst. In 2017, I declared myself a full-time writer and film noir researcher; my book will include analyses of a comprehensive database of 4,800+ titles. My musical holy trinity is Genesis, Miles Davis and Stan Ridgway. I grew up outside Philadelphia (Go Phillies!), and I live outside Boston. My wife and daughters keep me happy, sane and grounded. Really, what else is there to know?
Please continue to bear with me (and invite others to do the same). I am grateful to everyone who clicks “Like” and comments in a respectful way: it really is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.